Handle With Pair

Meet four successful handler couples.

They may not sport spiffy combo labels like Brangelina or Bennifer … yet … but the super couples of today’s show dog-handling world are as easily recognized on a first-name basis as Scarlett and Rhett, Lois and Clark or our sport’s own Houston and Toddie or Bob and Janie. Last names are equally superfluous for today’s super show dog pairs like Jane and Greg (Jeg?) or Larry and Marcelo (Marcelery?) and for a dinner party’s worth of other all-in-the-family handling partnerships. Whether at the top of their trade or just starting out, being half of a partnership seems to be the way to go.

Of course, just as in Hollywood, you may need a score card to keep track of which couplings are current and which are last month’s gossip. With some, it’s wise to double-check before knocking on their door and finding out that the partner you were looking for has been replaced overnight!

To many of us, it seems like a dream job: Get paid to travel and work with your partner doing what you love, where the biggest conflict is which one of you gets to carry the Best in Show rosette back to the rig. We see them at show after show, handing off dogs to one another, talking to clients together, celebrating big wins, and generally being available to seamlessly lend an ear or a hand to each other. And throughout what manages to be a stress-filled day for the rest of us, they always seem to keep smiling, and they always make it look so easy…

So what’s their secret? Is it couples counseling, separate motor homes or lots of meditation (or medication)? Or is the secret that it’s not always as easy as it looks? We decided to ask about the good, the bad and the fugly … and just to make it tricky, we asked our respondents to answer independently!

Click on each handler couples’ photo to learn more about them.


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Dogs In Review